Somalia Medal The Canadian Airborne Regiment in Somalia
A Soldier's Journals
Monday, July 16, 2018  

Somalia '93




 

Parachuting

11 April 93

I went parachuting this morning, the first time since December.  It is such an exhilarating experience throwing yourself out into space, putting all your faith in the equipment.  It is a rush of fear and adrenalin.  We are jumping to keep our qualifications current and to celebrate the regiments 25th birthday on the 8th.

Dust DevilEvery day at around four a dust devil, a small tornado about 40 feet wide and a 150 feet high, comes tearing through my tent.  It is as if it has a mind of its own and is out to make my life miserable.  It covers everything I own in dirt and scatters everything that is not tied down.

14 April 93

I got another jump on the 12th.  It was probably a reward for working GD at Service Commando's kitchen the day before.  Early yesterday morning Daren, Bruce and Tim headed down to Bulo Burti to pick up another aid convoy, but it turned out it wasn't there.  It did give them a chance to exchange field rations with the Italians though, so we now have some good Italian coffee and a change of food.  We have been eating field rations for months now and it is really messing with our systems.

The Italians have offered us some seats on one of their jumps.  There are nine seats for the entire commando and my name is one of three put in for the section.  I made it past the first cut, but I doubt I will get it with those odds.  I can hope though.

Yesterday afternoon we headed out and set up a roadblock on the highway south of here.  We stopped 31 vehicles and only found one stolen jerry can.  One small Toyota pickup truck that we stopped had 36 people, 10 one hundred pound bags of rice and three goats stuffed into it.  It looked like some college prank riding up to us suspension bottomed out.

On the 7th we escorted a convoy from Bulo Burti up to Montobann in the RCD sector.  The highway in the north is in excellent condition (for Somalia,)  so we made excellent time when we got up there.  On the 8th, we celebrated the Regiments (and my) 25th birthday.  We had a parade and a BBQ, then Sean and I went over to the engineer compound to party with Bryson.  After ten beer I was a bit drunk for my midnight shift on guard duty and hung over for my six a.m. shift.

16 April 93

Last night on a roadblock, we stopped and searched 21 vehicles.  Three of the vehicles were empty Lorries returning from the unescorted food convoy to Montebann.  In the blood on the backs, under bags of grain, we found six weapons.  A BM-19, a G-3 and four AK's.  We found out today that the convoy had made a break for the Ethiopian border when we turned it loose at Montebann.  They were turned back by the RCD's, but later, half of them were found in the various villages selling off the aid.

20 April 93

Mom was interviewed by CBC radio and read some of my letters.  I sent her a cold letter in reply to her news.  I really shouldn't blame her though.   She is proud and wants to express that.  It is strange, because I really don't mind any of what was in the paper being published.  Actually I was a little bit proud that it was considered good enough.  It is just that she didn't even ask me.  What am I supposed to do?  Put an okay on everything I write to here that is okay for the world to read?  Must I censor myself?  What I write is for her, not for some cud chewing moron down the street living his small meaningless life.  Maybe I'm just not ready to bare myself to the world yet.  The wounds I've suffered are still too tender to be poked and prodded by curious eyes.  How can I open up to her not knowing if it will be shared with the world?  I am pissed off, not for what she has done, but for how it affects the way that I relate to her.  It is typical of the way our relationship has always been though.

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